Having owned the last three major revisions of Apple’s iPhone and had extensive use of other handsets besides, I believe the iPhone 6 will be one of the most significant launches yet of an Apple iPhone.
However, I don’t mean significant as in a feature-laden device that will wipe the floor with the likes of Samsung’s forthcoming Galaxy S5.
What I do mean is that the iPhone 5 was a little bit of a disappointment, as were the 5C and 5S. Yes they sported beefier specifications, but screen size especially is something that many people believe means Apple is falling behind
In short, with the likes of Motorola, Samsung, HTC and now Google itself snapping at the heels of Apple’s dominance, the iPhone 6 could cause a massive shift of people either joining the IOS club or leaving it.
Recent figures have shown than a surprising number of people are willing to shift from IOS to Android and vice-versa so if the iPhone 6 is yet another disappointment with no real innovation, then it could spell the end of Apple’s sizable grip on the smartphone market.
So, here are my five must-have features for the iPhone six that, whatever the rumor mill currently says, I believe the new IOS device should be aiming for to keep Apple in the game.
1. At least a 4.5in screen size – if not larger
Apple’s touch screen and icon interface were ground breaking and changed the way smartphones work. However, while the original iPhone was a giant leap for the industry, paving the way for easy-to-use touch screen interfaces, Samsung and HTC were quick to realize that Apples 3.5in displays were a little on the small side.
Samsung’s Galaxy S2 sold by the bucket load for this reason and the iPhone 5’s odd choice of elongating the screen didn’t really go far enough to cover lost ground. Typing especially is easier on a larger screen – I’ve found I make fewer mistakes and going back to my iPhone 5 having used a 5in device for a week recently felt very cramped, even with IOS 7’s slick interface.
Rumors are that a bigger – perhaps much bigger iPhone is on the cards, maybe even several sizes, and they better be. Anything less than 5inches will likely see me for one switch from IOS to Android in pretty short order.
2. Better battery life and rapid charging
I spoke recently about why battery life should be the new smartphone battleground but few manufacturers have got the message. We use our smartphones more and more but their batteries just aren’t up to heavy use and usually need charging at least once a day.
Samsung’s forecoming Galaxy S5 is slated to have both a battery capacity boost and even rapid charging technology too, while the current Galaxy S4 has a much higher battery capacity than the iPhone 5 and a slightly longer battery life. This is more down to the size of the phone and its ability to house a larger battery than anything magical though.
As such, a larger iPhone can and must improve the battery life situation, even if it ends up being even thinner than the iPhone 5S, which many websites are predicting.
We can live and hope that Apple might even include a new type of battery technology, energy recovery system or even solar cells too - if the iPhone 6 stretched out a significant lead in battery life this would be a huge selling point.
3. Class-leading camera with image stabilisation
The iPhone 4 improved Apple’s stance in the smartphone camera race and the iPhone 5 cemented it as one of the best in its class.
A resolution boost (although you should remember that an increase in pixels does not automatically mean better image quality) plus new features such as image stabilization will go a long way to holding on to Apple’s enviable image quality reputation – vital at a time when smartphones are fast becoming the most popular cameras on the planet.
4. High Definition AMOLED display
Along with a bump in screen size, Apple needs to adopt the latest screen technology and also compete with Samsung in the resolution stakes. the iPhone 5S only sports a resolution of 1136 x 640 pixels and while this amounts to a comparatively high pixel density, it’s well behind Samsung’s Galaxy S4 that offers a full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel display.
In addition the iPhone 5S still uses an LCD display while Samsung has offered what’s called an AMOLED screenin the Galaxy S4. In short, this newer screen technology offers brighter, more vibrant colors and also better viewing angles.
5. 5G WiFi (802.11ac)
The latest WiFi standard – 802.11ac, offers much faster speeds than 802.11n and mean that downloading and uploading large amounts of data take far less time. Apple deemed the new technology not mainstream enough to include with the iPhone 5S.
It’s another area Samsung holds an advantage but with its latest Mac Books sporting the new 802.11ac standard as well as many high-end home Internet packages now including 802.11ac routers, Apple should definitely include this with the iPhone 6.
Other options Apple could also consider that I’ve always thought could be quite cool on a smartphone, if a little Star Trek Tricorder-esque are weather sensors – barometers and temperature sensors, infra-red lights for night vision (like on a video camcorder) and possibly even a way to allow you to mount enhanced lenses for better zooming. A heart-rate monitor could be useful too – if only to see the results for those Apple fans that queue up on iPhone 6 launch day for hours and appear to hyperventilate when they finally get their hands on one. Rumours are that we could find out as early as May too.